“Steel, which is undoubtedly the workhorse of this growing concrete jungle, finds it’s utility almost everywhere. Now, a group of South Korean scientists have finally invented a steel that promises of having the same strength-to-weight ratio as that of Titanium at 10 times cheaper rates of production.
Scientists have been trying extensively to come up with superior alloys of steel to expand its application. The obvious choice was to add the cheap and light weighted Aluminium to it.
However, the “Steel-Aluminium” conflict continued for decades after. This was because the alloy so formed was brittle. This implies that on the application of any strong force, the alloy would break instead of bending.” said fossbytes.com
“After a substantial amount of research, scientists realized that the formation of B2 crystals was causing brittleness. Hence, keeping these B2 crystals apart from each other in the alloy proved to be a successful solution.” said fossbytes.com
The Economist reports:
“The nickel reacts with some of the aluminium to create B2 crystals a few nanometres across. These crystals form both between and within the steel’s grains when it is annealed (a form of heat treatment). B2 crystals are resistant to shearing, so when a force is applied to the new material, they do not break. This stops tiny cracks propagating through the stuff, which gives it strength. That strength, allied with the lightness brought by the aluminium, is what Kim was after.”
“Although it may take awhile to transition these reported results into mass production, scientists are highly optimistic about their profound application in the significant reduction of costs in the field of aerodynamics and spacecraft construction.” said fossbytes.com